Frequently Asked Questions for Full-Time, Part-Time, and Retired Judges

Incorporating Amendments to Continuing Legal Education Rule for Attorneys and Judges, Effective January 1, 2014

  1. Why is continuing legal education for the judiciary required?
  2. Who must comply with Judicial College requirements?
  3. Do Part-Time Judges and Retired Judges have the same continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements as Full-Time Judges?
  4. When do the amendments to the continuing legal education rule for attorneys and judges go in effect?
  5. Will the new amendments to the Continuing Legal Education change the continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements for judges?
  6. Will the amendments change the manner in which judges are grouped according to last name?
  7. I am an A-L judge and I need to earn 40 hours by December 31, 2013.  Will the January 1, 2014, amendments affect my obligations for the time period covering the years 2012 through 2013?
  8. I am an M-Z judge who needs to earn 40 hours by December 31, 2014.  How will the new amendments affect me?
  9. What other changes will go in effect with the January 1, 2014, amendments?
  10. Does my reporting period change if my last name changes after I have become a judge?
  11. I am an Acting Judge. What are my continuing legal education requirements?
  12. How are CLE/Judicial College credit hours calculated?
  13. What happens if I earn more CLE/Judicial College credit hours than are required for the two-year reporting period?
  14. Are there judges who do not have to report to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education?
  15. I am a newly appointed judge. How long do I have before I must comply with the Judicial College requirement?
  16. Where and when will I be able to attend Judicial College courses?
  17. Should I keep a list of my CLE/Judicial College activities?
  18. What happens if I do not comply with my CLE/Judicial College requirements?
  19. If I find I am unable to complete my CLE/Judicial College requirements prior to the Dec. 31 deadline, will you grant me an extension of time?
  20. I am unable to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements due to illness. What can I do?
  21. How do I apply for an exemption from my duty to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements?
  22. How can I obtain a copy of my CLE record?
  23. How can I find out more about my CLE and/or Judicial College requirements?

1. Why is continuing legal education for the judiciary required?

To serve the public interest that mandates the competent performance of the duties of judicial office in Ohio.

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2. Who must comply with Judicial College requirements?

Full-time and part-time judges, retired judges eligible for assignment, acting judges and magistrates all have Judicial College requirements. The number of Judicial College hours required is based on the date you take office or, if you are appointed, the date of your appointment, and your status at the end of the biennium. Your Judicial College requirement must be completed as part of your overall continuing legal education requirements.

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3. Do Part-Time Judges and Retired Judges have the same continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements as Full-Time Judges?

Yes. All judges, including Full-Time, Part-Time, and Retired judges, are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including ten hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years.

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4. When do the amendments to the continuing legal education rule for attorneys and judges go in effect?

The amendments take effect January 1, 2014.

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5. Will the new amendments to the Continuing Legal Education change the continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements for judges?

Yes, the new amendments include several changes to judicial continuing legal education requirements, including:

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6. Will the amendments change the manner in which judges are grouped according to last name?

No. All Ohio judges have been permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups depending on their last name: judges with last names beginning with the letters A through L will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each odd-numbered year and judges with last names beginning with the letters M through Z will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each even-numbered year.

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7. I am an A-L judge and I need to earn 40 hours by December 31, 2013.  Will the January 1, 2014, amendments affect my obligations for the time period covering the years 2012 through 2013?

No.  During the 2012/2013 compliance period, A-L judges still will be required to comply with the current judicial education rule.  This means you will be required to earn on or before December 31, 2013, forty hours of continuing legal education, including ten hours of Judicial College education which includes two hours of instruction on “Access to Justice and Fairness in the Courts,” and an additional two hours of instruction on judicial ethics and professionalism. You will also be required to submit your final reporting transcript on or before January 31, 2014.

However, beginning with the 2014/2015 compliance period, A through L judges will be required to comply with the new amendments for the two-year period ending December 31, 2015.  Under the new amendments, A through L judges will be required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including ten hours of Judicial College instruction, on or before December 31, 2015.  Three of the required ten Judicial College hours must include instruction on “judicial conduct,” as defined in Gov. Jud. R. IV, Sec. 3(C).

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8. I am an M-Z judge who needs to earn 40 hours by December 31, 2014.  How will the new amendments affect me?

M through Z judges are in the first group of judges who will be required to comply with the new requirements.  As an M through Z judge, you will be required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including ten hours of Judicial College instruction, on or before December 31, 2014.  Three of the ten required hours of Judicial College education must include instruction on “judicial conduct,” as defined in amended Gov. Jud. R. IV, Sec. 3 (C).  You will not be required to file a final reporting transcript.

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9. What other changes will go in effect with the January 1, 2014, amendments?

Some of the other changes include:

Review the entire amended rule.

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10. Does my reporting period change if my last name changes after I have become a judge?

No. If your name changes at any time after you have been admitted to the practice of law, you remain in the same alphabetical grouping for CLE purposes.

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11. I am an Acting Judge.  What are my continuing legal education requirements?

Acting Judges must complete 24 credit hours of continuing legal instruction every two years, which shall include 10 hours of instruction provided by the Judicial College. Acting Judges are also required to earn 2.5 hours of “attorney professional conduct” education every two years. 

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12. How are CLE/Judicial College credit hours calculated?

Sixty minutes of actual instruction or other approved activity equals one credit hour.

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13. What happens if I earn more CLE/Judicial College credit hours than are required for the two-year reporting period?

You may apply a maximum of one-half the required credit hours to the next reporting period. Excess Judicial College and Judicial Conduct hours are carried over as general credit for the next biennial compliance period.

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14. Are there judges who do not have to report to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education?

Yes. The following judges are exempt from all requirements of Gov. Jud. R. IV and Gov. Bar Rule X while in office:

Also note that former judges currently registered as inactive pursuant to Gov. Bar R. VI, Sec. 2, or registered as retired pursuant to Gov. Bar R. VI, former Sec. 3, are also exempt from the requirements of Gov. Jud. R. IV and Gov. Bar Rule X.

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15. I am a newly appointed judge. How long do I have before I must comply with the Judicial College requirement?

When you first become a judge and become subject to Gov. Jud. R. IV, your judicial education requirements will be calculated on a pro rata basis during the first biennial compliance period. The pro rata calculation is based on the date of your appointment and your status at the end of the compliance period. You may review your requirements online at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/asw.

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16. Where and when will I be able to attend Judicial College courses?

You may view a list of approved courses on the Judicial College website at http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/judCollege/ or you may request a course schedule from the Judicial College of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The Judicial College may be reached at 614.387.9445.

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17. Should I keep a list of my CLE/Judicial College activities?

Yes. You should maintain records sufficient to establish compliance with CLE requirements in the event of an error in your record.

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18. What happens if I do not comply with my CLE/Judicial College requirements?

If you fail to comply with the educational requirements of Gov. Jud. R. IV and Gov. Bar R. X, the Commission will send you a notice of noncompliance. The notice will specify the nature of the noncompliance and state that unless you come into compliance or file evidence of compliance that is satisfactory to the Commission by the date set forth in the notice, the Commission will issue an order imposing a sanction against you. As a condition of acceptance of late compliance, you will be required to pay a late compliance fee that accompanies your report of compliance.

If you submit evidence by the date set forth in the notice that establishes timely compliance or late compliance, the Commission will withdraw the notice of noncompliance and advise you of this action.

If you do not come into compliance or file satisfactory evidence of compliance, the Commission will issue a sanction order against you, consistent with Commission regulation.

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19. If I find I am unable to complete my CLE/Judicial College requirements prior to the Dec. 31 deadline, will you grant me an extension of time?

There is no provision for extensions of time to comply with your CLE/Judicial College requirements. However, you will be provided with an opportunity to make-up the deficient hours as described above, Question 19.

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20. I am unable to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements due to illness. What can I do?

The Commission may grant a temporary exemption from the continuing legal education requirements of Gov. Jud. R. IV and Gov. Bar Rule X, under the following circumstances:

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21. How do I apply for an exemption from my duty to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements?

Go to  http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/attysvcs/CLE/forms/default.asp to download the appropriate Application for Exemption form.  The application should be submitted, along with appropriate supporting documentation, to the Office of Attorney Services.

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22. How can I obtain a copy of my CLE record?

You may view your CLE record online at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/asw. To receive a certified copy of your CLE record, please send a written request containing your registration number, beginning and ending calendar dates, and a check or money order for $5 made payable to Supreme Court of Ohio.

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23. How can I find out more about my CLE and/or Judicial College requirements?

You may phone the Commission at 614.387.9320 or you may access the Court’s website at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov to download a copy of Gov. Jud. Rule IV, Gov. Bar Rule X and the CCLE Regulations.

Review the entire amended rule.

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